Offense rules out West; pitching in the East

San Jose continues to pound the ball as they win their fifth straight and extend their early division lead to two games. The rest of the system, however, is having some trouble. In Fresno, it's the pitching as former big-leaguers can't get the job done. In Connecticut and Augusta, the hitters simply aren't hitting.

Fresno clobbered by Tacoma 14-6
The Rainiers put up nine runs in a wild fourth inning and never looked back in a rout of a trio of former big-league Fresno pitchers.

Randy Messenger's struggles in the Giants organization continued as the big righty was gave up two homers among the five hits he surrendered in 3.1 innings of relief work. Coming in with a man on after starter Julio Mateo had already given up seven runs, Messenger quickly fell behind, then surrendered his first blast of the night. Acquired for Armando Benitez last season, Messenger carried a 5.09 ERA for the Giants and was a surprise early cut from big-league camp this spring when he looked unimpressive. Tuesday was the second time in five appearances the 26-year-old was hit hard this season.

Outfielder Brian Horwitz made his first extra-base hit of the season a good one – even if every old-time baseball guy in the stadium groaned. Following a pair of two-out walks, Horwitz quickly got ahead in the count 2-0. Rather than taking until the first strike, the 25-year-old jumped on the next offering and pounded it over the left field wall for a three run homer. Signed as a fifth-year senior in 2004, Horwitz owns a .326 career average, the exact same mark he posted after a mid-season promotion to Fresno in 2007.

Utility man Julio Cordido was the only Grizzly with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 and a walk as Fresno's third baseman. The 27-year-old Venezuelan has collected hits in each of his five starts on the year on his way to an early .474/.524/.579 line. Now in his 12th season with the Giants organization, Cordido has appeared at every position on the diamond except catcher over his career. The right-handed hitter owns a career OPS of 676.

Portland tops Defenders 3-2
Connecticut dropped their third straight one-run contest Tuesday as Portland got to a tiring Garrett Broshuis for a pair of runs in the seventh inning and held off an eighth-inning threat.

Broshuis entered the seventh having allowed just one run on a second-inning leadoff homer, but opened the frame by giving up back-to-back doubles. After a groundout, Broshuis gave way to Ryan Sadowski who allowed the go-ahead run to score on a sacrifice fly to center. It was the first time on the year Broshuis, who averaged nearly six innings a start for Connecticut last season, made it into the seventh inning. Broshuis was once again hit hard by righties on Tuesday, while lefties have tallied just five singles against him all season.

Adam Witter, in the lineup as the DH, extended his team RBI lead to nine by driving in both the club's runs. The lefty, who went 2-for-3 and added a sacrifice fly, has made the most of his hits this season. Although he's just 1-for-15 with the bases empty, he is hitting at a .444 clip with men on base.

Ben Copeland was the only player in the lineup who didn't strike out at least once in the game, hardly a surprise for a club which has already whiffed 115 times in 12 contests. The next-highest total belongs to Reading, which has 92.

Giants pound Stockton 12-2
San Jose got going early and never looked back Tuesday as they pounded out 16 hits to collect their highest run total of the season against highly-regarded A's prospect Brett Anderson and two relievers.

Third baseman Ryan Rohlinger paced the offense, going 3-for-4 with his second homer of the year, driving in three and scoring a pair. After getting a late look with the big league club in spring training, the third baseman had stumbled a bit out of the gate for San Jose, entering last night's contest with just a .220 average. Tuesday was his second three-hit game of the year.

First baseman and DH Andy D'Alessio continued to push his average upward with a 2-for-5 night which included an RBI double and two runs scored. The lefty has hit in five of his last six contests to raise his average to a season-high .289. On the flip-side, he continues to strike out at a high clip, whiffing two more times Tuesday to take his total to 13 in 42 at-bats on the year.

The beneficiary of all the offense was starter Ben Snyder, who got his first win of the season on the same night he allowed his first run. The lefty gave up four singles in the first inning, but limited the damage to just one run, then bounced back and surrendered only one more hit over the next four frames. Snyder, who led Augusta in strikeouts last season, punched out a season-high five Ports batters and now has 12 Ks against just two walks on the year.

Intimidators blank Augusta 2-0
The GreenJackets returned from a successful 6-2 roadtrip, but the offense managed just three singles as they were one of four SALLY League teams shut out on Monday.

Orlando Yntema was charged with a tough-luck loss after surrendering only one run on four hits over 5.1 innings of work. The 21-year-old righty rebounded from a rough outing in his first start of the year to strike out five without allowing a walk, lowering his season average against to .306. The only run Yntema surrendered came when Nick Noonan caught a pop fly moving away from the infield and the Kannapolis runner managed to tag and come in from third base.

Noonan extended his hitting streak to 10 with a two-out single in the ninth, but snapped another streak. The 32nd overall pick in last year's draft had crossed the plate in seven straight contests before Monday and is tied for second in the league in runs scored with 11. Noonan has been particularly effective since shifting down to the three-hole in the lineup, where he owns a .391/.391/.609 line.

Shortstop Charlie Culberson's early-season struggles continued as the Georgia native went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. The shortstop, who turned 19 last week, has just one hit in 31 at-bats on the year, and has now whiffed six times. Culberson struggled early in his pro debut in Arizona last season too, hitting just .215 through his first 25 games before finishing up with a torrid August. Culberson's struggles have also been clear in the field where he has already tallied seven errors and sports a painful .865 fielding percentage.

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